Speaking at the opening ceremony of a new Metro line in Istanbul’s Pendik district, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “I believe that you will walk to the future by working day and night in this campaign for the referendum.”
Turkish parliament voted in favor a new constitutional amendment bill early Saturday. A referendum is expected to be held early April following Erdogan’s approval in the coming days.
“Now I hope the nation will make a real decision,” he said.
Proposed changes to the constitution require a simple majority in the referendum. Replacing Turkey’s current parliamentary system with a presidential one is the question expected to be submitted to the electorate.
Erdogan and his supporters have argued that Turkey needs a strong presidency to avoid weak governance and allow the country to successfully tackle a number of challenges, including terror attacks from Daesh, the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Opponents claim it will weaken democratic checks and lead to increased authoritarianism.